Catherine Powell’s Position Eliminated as All Resort Presidents Will Now Report to Bob Chapek Directly

In a surprising bit of news, Catherine Powell, President of the western region of Disney Parks, has left The Walt Disney Company. Powell was in charge of overseeing Disneyland, Walt Disney World, and Disneyland Paris. Her position has been eliminated, and now the presidents of each of the three resorts will report to Bob Chapek directly.

Bob Chapek, Chairman of Disney’s Parks, Experiences and Products division, now concentrates his power over Disney’s theme park portfolio with this change. This news comes after disappointing financial numbers at Disneyland and Walt Disney World.

Catherine Powell was not available for comment when reached out to by Bloomberg.

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  1. When did attendance start to go down? May 1 with the implementation of their new rules. It also doesn’t help that rides are breaking down and not are maintained.

    Add in the loss of entertainment. I remember the days when the resort bus dropped you off right at the entrance of all the magic. We like to park hop, but not with the increase of price with that option.

  2. I don’t get it so if someone could explain, please do. WDW ALWAYS seems busy. Doesn’t matter the season or month. Where exactly are the disappointing financial numbers????? We’re going the first week in November and just barely found a hotel room!

    1. How much capital has been spent in the last 6 yrs: Fantasyland refresh, Shanghai, Pandora, StarWars, (soon Marvelland & Epcot), 2 cruise ships (and more), and a few hotels. Billions spent & price increases in order of 25% (remember $49 socal hoppers?). A 5% attendance increase and basement merchandise purchases (no one’s buying stuff) won’t cut it.

      Now buying a $70B company, $250mil a movie and a new streaming service doesn’t help too.

      MBAs are in full swing at Disney–cut cut cut.

  3. Starwars land fell flat for many reasons all of which were under her control. It certainly wasn’t due to weather and lack of advertising. The idea of building a fictional space port that doesn’t relate to any movie makes sure the only people that will make the trip after all the rate increases are die hard fans. Had they styled the land after any real set in the first few movies it would be full of fans making the trip. Starwars land opened with one working ride that wasn’t remarkable, not worth the trip for most fans.

    1. I totally agree. I went to DLR’s Galaxy’s Edge and was just underwhelmed. I was lead to believe there was going to be an incredible amount of interactive elements within the land and if they were there, we certainly missed them. No droids navigating around, no Chewbacca, no aliens, no nothing except a couple of stale Storm Troopers going through the same dialog again and again. The place just isn’t fun because it is based on unrecognizable IP. At least with Harry Potter you have some fun and dark elements that blend together harmoniously. The first three prequel movies were like attending an Econ class in college, all I remember from those first three movies is gibberish about trade wars. The three post-sequel movies are even worse, with unfamiliar characters that nobody has any desire to cheer onto victory.

      I hate to say it but GE seems lame (even more lame than Pandora). As my martial arts instructor used to say, you only have one opportunity to make a first impression and without the Rise of the Resistance ride being open nobody has any real context of what GE is supposed to even be. I guess Disney must now try to put some lipstick on this Bantha but I doubt that is going to help.

      1. Pandora was lame? Utilizing a crane from Nasa to construct those extraordinary floating mountains was lame? A consistent three hour line for “Flights of Passage” is lame? Creating human-operated life-size Robots to roam the park and interact with guests is Lame? The extraordinary blend of real foliage with the constructed, glowing, alien foliage is lame?

        I’m excited for Galaxy’s Edge. I like when Disney offers you a chance to create your own stories and use your imagination rather than regurgitating what we’ve all already seen.

  4. Star Wars Land in WDW opened at the end of August. This is historically a slow time for WDW, correct? They also have the second ride coming in December, and the hotel still needs to be built. If people are feeling that WDW is becoming a once in a lifetime trip, wouldn’t you wait until everything was complete so you can get the full experience? It should also be noted that Star Wars fans are some of the most critical fans of everything in their beloved universe except the original 3 movies and various novels. So it was to be expected that you would hear nothing but negatives about this place. Disney fans are becoming that way as well. Anytime, there is change, it is always negative in their eyes. So negative Disney plus negative Star Wars equals unending negativity. It’s become self-fulfilling negativity at this point. I could say more, but I’m sure most stopped reading well before this last line.

      1. It was busier in June than it was in both February and last October during the weeks I was there so I’m definitely not seeing where the slowdowns are located. And even in February and October, they had cast members holding signs telling people which side of the road to walk on because it was bumper to bumper foot traffic.

  5. I agree that the pricing is terrible for the middle class and completely out of reach for the lower class.
    My family that consists of two adults and one 3 year old can’t go back for a 3rd time because it’s $500 more for the same trip this year. It’s not the airfare that’s more either.

    I see so much about how the prices will keep going up. Why? What are you doing incorrectly that such a big increase happens and happens almost every year?!
    Then they want you to join the vacation club at a tune of $18,000 plus fees?! What? That’s supposed to save me money? That’s my student loan balance!

    Bring the prices down, that brings the people back.

    1. Pricing is big. At Disneyland, I bought the Deluxe pass (the “cheap” one – knowing about summer blackouts. Then AFTER that, they release a cheaper pass (flex), with MORE summer access, that I cant switch to. That was a big FU to current -lower tier- passholders. They complained about attendance during the summer, without lifting any blackout dates.
      I have eaten in park less, fewer churros, fewer drinks, as a balance.

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